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For Patients and Families

The ClinicalTrials.gov Web site provides current information about clinical research studies to patients, their families, their friends and caregivers, and the public. Each study record includes a summary of the study protocol, including the purpose, recruitment status, and eligibility criteria. Study locations and specific contact information are listed to assist with enrollment. (See How to Read a Study Record to learn about the information found in a study record.) ClinicalTrials.gov is a free service of the National Institutes of Health, developed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Contents

Find Studies on ClinicalTrials.gov

ClinicalTrials.gov is updated daily. Check the site frequently for new information.

The Find Studies section of the site includes different options for finding studies, along with instructions for finding the studies you are looking for and how to read study records. In this section, you can:

Learn About Clinical Studies

Clinical research studies aim to answer scientific questions and to find the best ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases and medical conditions.

The Learn About Clinical Studies page has more information about:

  • What happens during a study
  • The different types of studies
  • Who is responsible for conducting a study

The Learn About Clinical Studies page also explains what participating in a study means and discusses considerations for participation. You can learn about informed consent and the questions that a potential participant should ask before volunteering for a clinical study.

The ClinicalTrials.gov Glossary of Common Site Terms has definitions for terms used on this Web site that may be unfamiliar to you.

More information about clinical studies is available on NLM's MedlinePlus® Web site. MedlinePlus has information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues for patients and their families. Each of the health topics on MedlinePlus provides information from NIH and other trusted sources.

The NIH Clinical Research Trials and You Web site provides general information on participating in clinical research with a focus on NIH-funded research.

For More Information

For More Information About a Study

Choosing to participate in a clinical study is an important personal decision. Review the Learn About Clinical Studies page and talk with your doctor, family members, or friends about deciding to join a study. After you find some studies you are interested in, the next step is for you or your doctor to contact the study research staff and ask questions about the specific studies.

You can find contact information for study research staff in the Contacts and Locations section of the study record, if that study is "open." Check to see whether a specific location near you is active or recruiting participants. Contact information for staff at that study location may also be listed.

For Questions or Comments About ClinicalTrials.gov

To send NLM questions or comments about the ClinicalTrials.gov site, use the Contact NLM Help Desk link at the bottom of any page.

Please note that NLM cannot answer questions about individual medical cases or make recommendations about therapy. Ask your health care provider for help with these questions.

Please also note that the information in the study records on ClinicalTrials.gov is provided by the organizations and people that sponsor and carry out the studies. For questions about a specific study, please contact the study research staff listed in the Contacts and Locations section of the study record.

This page last reviewed in August 2012